Over 30 Deer Today, 11-03-20

I got up around 6:00 this morning and headed out to the Effie Yeaw Nature Preserve. It was about 43° when I got out there and warmed up to about 63° by the time I left. I’m liking this cooler weather.

The big news at the preserve was the number of deer I saw today. One herd had 25 in it!  Lots of does, many with fawns. There were younger bucks hanging around this group, sniffing up the females. But those females who had fawns won’t be in estrus again this year, so those younger boys aren’t getting any action.

The doe dodges the buck as he tries to get nearer to her and take in her scent.

I wonder if they pick on those does because they know the experienced older buck don’t bother harassing the moms? Or are the young bucks just stupid and don’t know that the does with fawns aren’t in a breeding mood?

Anyway, deer were the story today. I saw a couple of smaller groups including one herd of 5 does with a three-point male sniffing after them.

I found the deer with the swollen head again on my walk today. She seems to be doing fine. She looked healthy, seems to be able to move and function okay, and is taking good care of her fawn… so, whatever caused her injury didn’t interfere too much with her life.

I was able to get a good look at the side of her head that sustained the injury, and it looks like she might have gotten stabbed in the head by a stick or an antler and the wound abscessed. It looked mostly healed now with some dried puss along the edges.  I was so glad to see she was doing so well…

I didn’t see any of the bucks doing any sparring, but then, the really big boys weren’t around this morning. When they show up, there will be more sparks.

CLICK HERE for the full album of photos.

I saw (and heard) quite a few wrens. I got photos of a House Wren, and also got photos and a video snippet of a little Bewick’s Wren foraging INSIDE a hollowed out tree stump. I don’t know what he was finding there, but he hung around for quite a while.

I also saw a couple of Red-Shouldered Hawks, watched a Kestrel flying around the crown of a tree, trying to chase some Acorn Woodpeckers out of tree, and also got a couple of photos of a Merlin sitting on the bare branch at the top of another tree. So, the raptors were representing.

Merlin, Falco columbarius

And the Starlings were showing off their numbers, as well, and chasing off larger birds, like Northern Flickers from the perching spots they wanted.

I walked for about 3 hours, and then headed back home.

Species List:

  1. Acorn Woodpecker, Melanerpes formicivorus
  2. American Kestrel, Falco sparverius
  3. Bewick’s Wren, Thryomanes bewickii
  4. California Ground Squirrel, Otospermophilus beecheyi
  5. California Scrub Jay, Aphelocoma californica
  6. California Wild Grape, Vitis californica
  7. Canada Goose, Branta canadensis [flying overhead]
  8. Columbian Black-Tailed Deer, Odocoileus hemionus columbianus
  9. Coyote, Canis latrans [caught a glimpse of it in the meadow]
  10. Eastern Fox Squirrel, Sciurus niger
  11. European Starling, Sturnus vulgaris
  12. Feral European Honeybee, Apis mellifera
  13. Golden Crowned Sparrow, Zonotrichia atricapilla
  14. House Wren, Troglodytes aedon
  15. Italian Thistle, Carduus pycnocephalus
  16. Merlin, Falco columbarius
  17. Mourning Dove, Zenaida macroura
  18. Northern Flicker, Colaptes auratus
  19. Oak Apple Gall Wasp, Andricus quercuscalifornicus
  20. Oak Titmouse, Baeolophus inornatus
  21. Red-Shouldered Hawk, Buteo lineatus
  22. Rio Grande Wild Turkey, Meleagris gallopavo intermedia
  23. Spotted Towhee, Pipilo maculatus
  24. Turkey Vulture, Cathartes aura
  25. Western Fence Lizard, Blue Belly, Sceloporus occidentalis
  26. White-Breasted Nuthatch, Sitta carolinensis
  27. White Horehound, Marrubium vulgare